Originally published in April 2017, updated in March, 2020.
If you suffer from asthma and allergies, your own home can become a minefield of irritants. In the warm Lubbock, Texas, climate, pollen, dust, and dander are year-round threats. Learn how to keep your home safe from asthma and allergy issues with proper sealing, moisture control, HVAC system maintenance, cleaning, and other efforts. With the right preventive measures, you can create an allergy and asthma-proof home where you and your family can breathe more easily.
Seal Your Home
Outside air is an enemy to those with asthma and allergies, particularly in the warm Texas climate where pollen can linger throughout the year. Keep doors and windows closed, even when sunny days beckon for a fresh breeze. Avoid using ceiling fans as well, as fans quickly gather dust and scatter it throughout the room. Install weather-stripping around windows and doors. Inspect your home carefully for cracks around baseboards or door frames and seal these areas with caulk.
Use controlled ventilation to bring clean air into the home and push stale air out. A system such as the Legacy Series Energy Recovery Ventilator allows outside air indoors, but the unit pulls the air through a MERV 6 filter first. You get the benefits of fresh air without the irritants.
Watch for Moisture Buildup
Moisture helps breed common allergens such as mold and mildew. Keep a close eye out for areas where warmth and moisture can linger. Make sure you have functioning exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen that vent air to the outside. Turn the fans on anytime you have steam in these areas of the home, such as when you’re cooking or taking a shower. Consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier if you deal with excess moisture often.
Schedule HVAC System Maintenance
Your HVAC system is a valuable defense against the allergens that circulate through your home. This system needs proper care and maintenance to work efficiently. For example, the air filter in the system removes dust, dander, and other irritants from the air continually as air circulates throughout the home.
To keep your HVAC system in top shape, you should schedule an annual system maintenance visit. During this visit, your Sinclair technician will thoroughly clean your unit to remove excess dust. This tuneup will also improve efficiency, lower operating costs, and extend the lifespan of your system.
Cover Your Bedding
Dust mites love to nestle into your bedding. If you suffer from asthma and allergies, take precautions to prevent problems with dust mites. Cover your mattresses and pillows in allergy-proof covers that will keep dust mites out. Although you can’t cover your couch and other upholstered furniture in the same way, you can opt for wood, leather, or vinyl materials that you can wipe clean to remove dust.
Implement a Laundry Schedule
Stick to a strict laundry schedule in your home to prevent mildew from growing in damp linens, and wash away dust, pollen, and dander before these particles begin to build up in dirty clothes. You should wash your sheets, pillowcases, throw pillow covers, and blankets once a week and curtains at least twice a year. If you suffer from serious allergies, you may want to increase your washing frequency.
Hardwood floors are better for allergy sufferers than wall-to-wall carpeting, but you may still want area rugs to soften your step. Vacuum your rugs twice a week and give them a good shake weekly if you have high traffic in your home. If you have a fabric shower curtain, launder it monthly to keep mildew at bay.
Install an Air Purifier
While the standard air filter in your HVAC system can effectively pull pollutants from the air, you may want to go above and beyond to tackle allergies and asthma triggers. An air purifier offers better filtration. You can install a whole-home air purifier directly in your HVAC system so that all the air circulated through your home passes through this system. These products work not only against dust and dirt, but also against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
The Bryant® Perfect Air Purifier is an excellent air purification system that attached directly in-line with your heating and cooling system. Some of the features include:
- Patented Captures and Kills™ technology
- Unsurpassed germicidal capability
- Can clean up to 100 times more air than portable units
- Long-lasting MERV 15 filter
- Captures up to 95% of particles .30 to 1.0 microns in size
- Kills or inactivates up to 99% of germs, pollen and mold captured
- Proven effective against these common pathogens and fungus:
aspergillus versicolor (a common fungus), avian influenza, common cold, coronavirus (SARS), human influenza, measles, Streptococcus, wild type A influenza.
Make sure your home is a place where you can always feel healthy. If you’re overdue for service to keep your HVAC system clean and well maintained, contact our service professionals at Sinclair Heating, Cooling, Plumbing Inc.
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